Melissa (Maryville TN)
Resistance is the first book I've read that deals with an alternative to the history we have come to know. With my father-in-law having fought on the beaches of Normandy, and receiving a Purple Heart for his heroism, it was hard to imagine that the Allies failed in their mission. But once I got into the characters' stories I couldn't put the book down. I especially enjoyed hearing the story from several characters' voices. You begin to like these characters, even the ones you normally would categorize as the "bad guys". Without giving anything away, the story draws you in and is at times both heart-wrenching and heart-warming. I highly recommend this book for all book clubs and feel women and men co-ed book clubs would have wonderful conversations about the different points of view.
janet (New Hartford NY)
Stories of Nazi occupation in continental Europe are a staple of World War II literature. But what if...what if the allies had been defeated on D-Day? This book is an engrossing look at what that might look like. The author has the ability to bring the reader into the mind of German soldiers, British women struggling to deal with the unexpected disappearance of their husbands on the eve of the occupation...and even a resistance fighter. The book is a good read for those who enjoy a first class story that makes you think about the individual's struggle with right and wrong, and the consequences of those decisions.
Catherine (Aurora CO)
Resistance is one of the best books I have read in the past year. Its premise is, what if Germany had won World War II and occupied Great Britain. At first, I thought, interesting but I'm not really into books about war. I read the first few pages, a little slow, hoped I would be able to finish it. Next thing I knew, I was on page 75! Then I had a hard time putting it down. The story is told from many points of view, so you truly are left wondering, who is the bad guy and who is the good guy. Would definitely recommend it for book clubs, men, and women.
Julie (West Hartford CT)
Thoughtful and provocative
This beautifully written story focuses on a town of women deserted by the men in their lives who have joined the British Resistance during WWII. The women's fragile relationship with the occupying Germans, and their growing mutual dependency is both sensitive and thoughtfully developed. The language is wonderful, the story flows smoothly, and the characters are real.
Judy (Marysville OH)
Imagining what-if and a poet's eye
This book will stay with me for a long time. It's beautifully written and emotionally powerful. Set in a remote and mystically beautiful landscape removed from the immediate physical horrors of war, Sheers reveals the inevitable human pain, loss, and moral lose/lose dilemmas that descend even on the most isolated people.
This alternative history story is based on the author's fascination with what he learned from a real-life participant in the British resistance organization about the secret plans for fighting against a German invasion. The story takes place from Fall of 1944, when Germany has invaded the south of England, to mid-1945, when London and most of the country have been overtaken, though there is no official British surrender.
Six women living on the only farms in a remote valley in Wales are suffering from the desertion of their men who have all secretly and silently disappeared in the night to participate, the women decide, in the British resistance organization planned in 1940. When six German Wehrmacht soldiers on a mysterious mission arrive and take up residence in the valley, a tense, anxious dance begins between the soldiers and the women, who draw together and shrink apart, until the reality of the war invades the valley and shatters the uneasy dance in surprising and heartbreaking ways.
The landscape of this human drama is echoed in the universal, elemental balance between the land and the people it sustains. Owen Sheers' poet's eye gives a striking view of this landscape. For a small example, who can resist this word picture describing two of the characters walking together "... disturb[ing] skylarks from their nests and ... watch[ing] as the startled birds ascended above them, disappearing up the threads of their song."
For me, this book matches the power and depth of Pat Barker's World War I trilogy--Regeneration, The Eye in the Door, and The Ghost Road--though it's very different.
Rebecca (Knoxville TN)
Resistance was a beautifully written book which, while correctly called a historical novel, was also a novel of great suspense as enormous tension builds throughout the story. Set in a remote Welsh valley during WWII, Resistance is the story of five women left on their own by their husbands. A group of five German soldiers appear in the valley looking for a lost treasure and slowly build relationships with the five women who begin to see the men as men and sons and friends rather than as the enemy. Enjoy!
Diana (Delray Beach FL)
A Moving Account
As with the telling of any story of an alternative history, the risk is becoming too fantastic or implausible. Resistance takes us to a world where Germany has indeed won the second World War, and drops us into a landscape so barren and foreign, it’s as though World War II occurred 150 years ago, instead of 60. The book succeeds in many ways, not the least of which in putting a human and almost sympathetic face on the proverbial Nazi monster and shows us, right to the very end, that every action, good or bad, has a consequence.